Shawshank Redemption - movie facts

  • The Mansfield State Reformatory in Ohio was used for the exterior shots.  However the prison is now derelict and improvements had to be made prior to shooting.  The interior shots were done on a stage as it was cheaper to do so than to renovate the interior of Mansfield prison.
  • All scenes containing Brook’s crow were monitored by the American Humane Association.  The American Humane Association objected to the feeding of a live maggot to the crow during a scene, as they considered it cruel to the maggot.  A maggot that had died from natural causes was found to complete the scene.
  • In the original story Stephen King wrote Red as an Irishman.  Morgan Freeman was cast as Red.  Although Morgan Freeman is of African descent, and cannot be of true Irish descent, the line "Maybe it's 'cause I'm Irish" was left in the movie.
  • "The Count of Monte Cristo" novel, by Alexandre Dumas père, is mentioned in the movie.  The book has several similarities to the story.  The Dumas’ story has a man who is falsely imprisoned for a crime, and makes a daring escape.  After he has escaped he finds treasure that he has learnt about whilst in jail.  He also carries out a plan of revenge against those who had imprisoned him.
  • The Shawshank Redemption is dedicated to Frank Darabont’s former agent Allen Greene.
  • The prisoners watch the movie Gilda, staring Rita Hayworth.
  • Prison Warden Norton whistles the tune from the hymn "Eine feste Burg ist unser Gott".  The English title of this is "A Mighty Fortress is Our God".
  • The pictures of the young looking Morgan Freeman attached to his parole papers are actually pictures of Morgan Freeman’s son Alfonso Freeman.
  • Morgan Freeman’s son, Alfonso Freeman appears in the Shawshank Redemption as an extra, shouting "Fresh fish! Fresh fish today! We're reeling 'em in!" when the new inmates arrive.
  • The Shawshank Redemption movie follows Stephen King’s story of Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption very closely.  Stephen King says the story is a collection of the memories he has of prison movies as a child.
  • A picture of Albert Einstein hangs on Andy Dufresne’s cell wall.  Tim Robbins, who plays Andy Dufresne, also starred in a movie about Einstein, called I.Q.
  • After Andy is found to have escaped, Warden Norton instructs the guards to question Red.  The guard shouts to “Open 237!”, which is Red’s cell number.  237 is the room number used in the Shining, and the total of the change in the story Stand By Me (called The Body in the book).  All of these stories were written by Stephen King.
  • Warden Norton opens the bible where Andy Dufresne hid his rock pick it opens to the Book of Exodus.  The Book of Exodus details the escape of the Jews from Egypt.
  • Two Shawshank inmates have the names of Heywood and Floyd.  Heywood Floyd is the name of the main character in 2010.
  • Although the Shawshank Redemption movie was only a reasonable hit in the theatres, it has become of the most successfully video and DVD rentals of all time.
  • Brad Pitt was originally intended to play the role of Tommy Williams.
  • Stephen King and Frank Darabont were already friends as Frank Darabont had adapted Stephen King’s short story “The Woman in the Room”.  Stephen King has a policy whereby aspiring filmmakers can adapt his short stories for a dollar.  Stephen King was very impressed by Frank Darabont’s adaptation of “The Woman in the Room”.  They became pen friends but didn’t meet until Frank Darabont optioned the Shawshank Redemption. Frank Darabont also directed The Green Mile movie, another Stephen King story.
  • When Red, played by Morgan Freeman, leaves his parole meeting at the end of the film, his friends ask him how it went.  He Replies with "Same shit different day".  This phrase was also used by a character in the Stephen King movie Dreamcatcher, which also starred Morgan Freeman.
  • When on the roof the prisoners are drinking Stroh's beer.
  • After Frank Darabont had written the screenplay Rob Reiner offer Frank Darabont US$2.5 million for the rights to the script.  Rob Reiner was so impressed that he wanted to direct the movie himself.  Frank Darabont seriously considered the offer, but decided to make the movie himself, as he considered it a "chance to do something really great".
  • After the Shawshank Redemption had gained popularity Ted Turner sold the television right to the TNT network, which his is own network.  He sold it for a much lower fee than normal.  Because it is so inexpensive to show the movie is sown on the TNT network very frequently.
  • Once Andy has been reassigned to the prison library, from the laundry, a prison guard comes to see him, for investment help.  The guards name is Deakins.  The cinematographer for the Shawshank Redemption was called Roger Deakins.
  • When Tommy Williams (played by Gil Bellows) is on the bus, the man sat behind him is Dennis Baker.  Dennis was a former warden on the Mansfield State Penitentiary, where the Shawshank Redemption was filmed.
  • After seeing the screenplay an agent, who perhaps is in the wrong business, requested an audition for his supermodel client for the role of Rita Hayworth, who only appears in the movie as a character in one of her own films shown in the prison theatre.
  • Auditions were held in Mansfield for extras for the movie.  The auditions proved so popular than no more people were accepted after 3pm.
  • Thomas ("Tommy") Williams is played by Gil Bellows. He plays William ("Billy") Thomas In "Ally McBeal" (1997).
  • The hands seen loading the revolver in the opening scene are those of Frank Darabont and not Tim Robbins.  The scenes were shot during post production.

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